Many city hotels take emu off menu
By C Shivakumar / ENS - CHENNAI
18th August 2012 08:30 AM
Hotels in the city has removed emu meat after shortage of supplies following an emu investment scam unearthed by the Economic Offences Wing.
“We took it off our menu after we failed to get supplies,” said Rajesh (name changed) of Hotel Das Netra in Virugambakkam.
A plate of emu fry or roast at the hotel cost Rs 130. “Customers do ask for emu meat. It has been removed from the menu since the last two weeks as there has been no supply,” he says. Interestingly, the meat is sold on a weekly basis. “We buy nearly four to five kg of emu meat on weekdays and all of it is consumed,” adds Rajesh.
However, the supply hasn’t dried up in Chennai with a few like Maya & Maya in Anna Nagar still selling it. Maya and Maya also has the only Emu restaurant in Shanti Colony in Anna Nagar, which sells the meat and is popular among the health-conscious as the meat is aggressively marketed as 98 per cent fat free.
About 50 kg to 100 kg of meat arrives every two days at the hotel from the emu farm spread over 40 acres in Namakkal and is being sold to customers. “The demand is surging in Chennai,” claims Kokila, an administrative officer of Maya and Maya, which has about 25,000 birds in the Namakkal farm. Another official, who works at the restaurant, says that every day they sell meat worth Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000. “Now we are getting lot of orders from hotels and are preparing a list. Plans are on to open a slaughter house here,” says Kokila.
Touted as a ‘heart, healthy meat’, a full emu briyani at the restaurant costs Rs 150 while emu noodles cost Rs 60. There are also other delicacies like emu cutlets (Rs 60), emu sausage (Rs 70), emu cheese cocktail (Rs 80) and emu kebab (Rs 125).
Interestingly, meat retail outfits are not enthused over emu meat. “We get four to five kg of meat every week but could hardly sell it. There is lack of market here,” says the owner of Aarthi Broilers, who got her fingers burnt in the business.
Surprisingly, of the hotels surveyed by City Express in different parts of the city, only a few sell emu meat and many of them are unaware of it. Some reject it claiming it is not profitable. Even customers find it somewhat alien, as such they fear to experiment it, says an hotelier.
However, it is emu oil and leather which is attracting Chennaites. “There are complete range of products which are available at our showroom in Anna Nagar,” says Kokila. “These include skin magic soap and body wash, moisturizing lotion, fairness cream, anti-ageing cream, face wash, lip care and massage oil,” she adds.
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